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House Committee on the JudiciaryCrime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and InvestigationsIntroducedDecember 5th, 2013
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Federal Probation System Reform Act
To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for increased supervision of persons required to wear an electronic monitoring device as a condition of release from prison, to criminalize disabling such an electronic monitoring device, to establish the Office of the Inspector General for Probation and Pretrial Services, and for other purposes.
Federal Probation System Reform Act - Amends the federal criminal code to require the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts to ensure that an appropriate probation or pretrial services officer supervises a person convicted of a federal offense who has been sentenced to probation, placed on probation, or placed on supervised release, or a person accused of such an offense who has been released pending trial, sentence, or appeal, and who is required to wear an electronic monitoring device as a condition of such probation or release, including by: (1) conducting a daily review of any data produced by such device; and (2) conducting an investigation immediately following an electronic monitoring system alert that the Director determines requires investigation. Prohibits, and sets penalties for, intentionally disabling such a device or allowing another person to disable such device. Establishes within the United States Probation and Pretrial Services System the Office of the Inspector General for Probation and Pretrial Services, which shall: (1) conduct investigations of alleged misconduct; (2) conduct and supervise audits and investigations; (3) prevent and detect waste, fraud, and abuse; (4) recommend changes in laws or regulations governing probation and pretrial services; and (5) report expeditiously to the Attorney General whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of federal criminal law. Provides whistleblower protection for an employee who provides information to or otherwise assists the Inspector General in an investigation of a possible violation of federal law or misconduct by a pretrial services or probation officer.
The pretrial services Office has WAY too much power already. Basically whatever that officer puts in the PSR/presentencing report is what their sentence is based on. There is WAY WAY WAY too much leeway granted them in the sentencing guidelines. WAY too much latitude when it comes to relevant conduct and WAY too much leeway when it comes to content formed on opinion and non-factual statements in the report. Anyone the pretrial services officer interviews can say whatever they want and they have the leeway to skew it how they want and put in it leave out whatever they want in that report. If the people interviewed were under oath and subject to purgury and defamation charges if they lied then it might be more fair. However basically if the pretrial services officer likes or dislikes a person they can write a favorable or damning review and recommendation and most judges go by what the officer recommends which is downright injustice.